Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Nelson Mandela Bay stadium is yet another project where Hulamin's cross-divisional expertise has been harnessed to produce an aluminium solution of note.

The stadium's roofing skeleton comprises thirty six girders each made of a tubular steelwork structure that was built in Kuwait. An important element of this structure is the interface between the sheeting and the structure, which uses a special extruded aluminium saddle designed by Hulamin Roofing Solutions (HRS) and manufactured by Hulamin Extrusions (HE). "We supplied about 24 000m2 (or 115 tons) of Ziptech tapered and perforated sheets in 1mm thick C2S PVDF coated coil" explained General Manager for HRS, Lance Wilson. According to Mr Wilson every solid sheet on the girder is different to the next and the tapers vary between the girders. "Each sheet had to be manufactured separately to accommodate the girder design and steelwork tolerances" he said adding that all 13 200 sheets supplied for the project were tapered and roll-formed on site. In addition, HRS supplied all the flashings, halters, saddles and closures for application on this state-of-the-art roofing system.

A key supply condition from the German designers was the fact that the sheeting system has to meet the most demanding corrosion levels for the maximum service period as prescribed by ISO 12 944. Hulamin Rolled Products Technical Specialist, Dr John Leitch, explained that this means that the sheeting must be corrosion-resistant and should require minimal maintenance for at least 15 years even though the stadium is located close to the sea. "This stringent requirement was met with Hulamin's high quality PVDF-coated sheeting, and confirmed by the results of rigorous salt-fog testing undertaken both at Hulamin and at the University of Port Elizabeth" he added.

The planned completion date for the stadium is end of April 2009, however sheeting will continue until end of May 2009. According to Mr Wilson, the completion date of the stadium was accelerated so as to complete construction in time for the British Lions Rugby match held in the Nelson Mandela Bay.

"Architects speak of form follows function when referring to the appearance of a building. In the case of this stadium each of the 36 aluminium-clad girders resembles the organic shape and texture of a sea shell. In my opinion the stadium will be seen as one of the most beautiful buildings in the country, and we are privileged to supply a remarkable and functional component of the stadium" concluded Dr Leitch.